I’m trying to make the ride on my bike a little smoother. Unfortunately I can’t do a suspension seat post and so I’m thinking of going from 38 to 45 tires so I can run the pressure lower. I’m just wondering what type of penalty I’ll pay in terms of Efficiency. Obviously, 45 will be heavier and a little less aero, but I’m wondering if other people have made the switch and whether they noticed any detriment .
There’s a lot of “it depends” to your question. If your primary goal is to be more comfortable, then go up to 45. I have not noticed any huge difference between 38 and 42 (40-45 when measured) in terms of speed. When the tires are at an appropriate pressure I notice that I’m more comfortable and can ride for longer.
Tire choice, type of gravel, etc. all factor into answering that question. We have a very smooth gravel network in our area (hardpacked sand with “kitty litter” over the top). When I put on 45’s in advance of Big Suger last year, they were noticeably more sluggish (I did add inserts, as well) But in the chunky gravel at Big Sugar, they were the right choice.
I’m only mentioning this because you said you couldn’t do a suspension seat post, which I have no experience with, but a suspension stem has made a world of difference for me on long gravel rides. I’m sure there are more companies that make them, but the two that I’m familiar with are from Redshift and Cane Creek.
In my gravel experience, wider is faster (on gravel). In my area one frequently encounters sandy or chunky sections. My friends with Salsa Cutthroats and 2.2" tires, sail through while I struggle on 40mm tires. And they aren’t any slower than me on the faster, smoother sections. Win, win for fatter tires when off road IMO.
What kind of tires are you using now and are you looking to use the same ones in a larger size?
I’m using the pathfinder pros in a 42 and they are dramatically faster and more comfortable (softer?) than the crosscut(?) that came on the bike in a 38. I tend to run 35ish PSI in the pathfinder pros and I think they are very comfortable for +3 hour races. This is tubeless with no insert and in the year I’ve been running this setup I’ve never flatted.
my gravel is mostly dirt roads, nothing too chunky or technical. 20% pavement. 5-10% technical trails.
I am currently running Vittoria Torreno Dry and will use something very similar at 45mm
The Pathfinder Pro in 42 is going to be a pretty good option. The roll quite well and are decent on pavement, but can still handle most rougher terrain quite well. Set up tubeless, possibly with inserts, should allow you to drop pressure a bit and be more comfortable. On rougher roads they made end up being significantly faster than the 38s you are currently running.
With inserts, on Enve G23s, I run my Pathfinder Pros at 27psi now.
that looks like a very good choice, i was also looking at the schwalbe G-1 RS in 45mm
The G-One RS in 45 looks really interesting. It’s beenback ordered forever but some sites are saying July, so hopefully production is happening now. Assuming the 45 rolls as fast as the 40, it could be a really killer option.
late july! and my thoughts exactly
I’ve been riding the G One RS and they are faster in a 45 than the 40, at least on my Cervelo on the gravel out here in WY